Thorfish factory trawler Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson docked in the Westman Islands this week, with 17 of its 26 crew suffering from illness and three of them were judged to be serious.
The local police announced that the harbour area had been immediately cordoned off and no chances were taken as health professionals went on board.
Samples were taken from seven of the crew, and four of the trawler’s crew were taken ashore for observation in a secure unit, while the rest of the crew remained on board at the quayside. Access to Hrafn Sveinbjarnarson was prohibited and the crew were kept kept on board while samples were analysed.
To their relief, it turned out that the mystery illness that had spread through the crew after their last landing was unpleasant, but the samples confirmed it wasn’t Covid-19 – but a ‘normal’ flu of the kind that tends to make a regular appearance every winter.
Like other fishing companies in Iceland, Thorfish had already prepared a contingency plan based on guidelines prepared by the Coast Guard in the event of Covid-19 cases occurring on board fishing vessels.
Measures include isolating the crewman in question in a cabin, with a single other crew member assigned to take meals and other necessities to the affected individual. At the end of such a trip, the affected individual and anyone in contact with him would be required to go into isolation, with a deep-cleaning process to take place on board before returning to sea.